Can I Get a Divorce in Texas if My Spouse Cheated on Me?
Divorces based on cheating are never easy. There may be a lot of pain and animosity between you and your spouse, and that may make negotiating a divorce harder. Texas allows divorces based on fault grounds like adultery, which may help you achieve your divorce. However, adultery may be difficult or embarrassing to discuss in court, and you should also consider no-fault grounds after infidelity. The Dallas divorce attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm will discuss how it works to sue for divorce or seek an adultery divorce settlement when you’ve been cheated on in Texas.
Divorces Based on Adultery in Texas
Texas law is a hybrid divorce state, allowing divorces based on both “fault” and “no-fault” grounds. With fault grounds, one party sues the other for divorce and must prove that their spouse did something wrong that lets them deserve a divorce. In a no-fault divorce, there is no need to prove one party’s bad actions. Instead, you allege that you and your spouse no longer get along or have already separated.
To file for divorce, you must have proper grounds for divorce, as listed in the TX Family Code. § 6.001-.007 lists the 7 options to choose to file for divorce. Most of these are fault-based, while 2 require no fault. Texas’ 7 grounds for divorce are:
- Insupportability – This is a no-fault ground where the parties claim that there is “discord or conflict of personalities,” and they can no longer support “the legitimate ends of the marital relationship.”
- Cruelty – This is a fault ground where one spouse has been cruel, and the other can no longer tolerate it (e.g. abuse).
- Adultery – This is a fault ground where one party committed adultery.
- Conviction of Felony – This is a fault ground for when one spouse was convicted of a felony and has already been in prison for a year.
- Abandonment – This is a fault ground where one spouse has intentionally abandoned the other and has been gone for over a year.
- Living Apart – This is a no-fault ground where parties can get a divorce after living separately for 3 years.
- Confinement in Mental Hospital – This is a fault ground, where you can divorce a spouse who’s been in a hospital for 3 years and likely will not recover.
Since adultery is one of the fault grounds, you can sue for divorce and have it granted if your spouse cheated on you. However, proving the adultery may be difficult. It is often difficult to prove what happened behind closed doors. If your spouse or the person they cheated with is unwilling to admit to the affair, you may not be able to prove the adultery. However, any admissions your spouse made to you may be admissible against them alongside pictures, text messages, and other evidence.
If you do successfully get a divorce on fault grounds, it may mean getting more than half of the marital property during property division. Fault is a factor courts can consider in these kinds of decisions, and you may be entitled to more money/assets if your spouse cheated.
No-Fault Divorces for Adultery
Even if you were the victim of adultery, you may choose to use no-fault grounds for divorce instead. If your evidence to prove adultery is not strong enough or you do not want to expose information about your relationship and sex life, you may use no-fault grounds instead.
When you allege a fault divorce, your spouse may raise certain defenses which can make proving your case harder. The most prominent adultery defense in Texas is “condonation.” This means that your spouse told you about the affair, but you condoned it or forgave him/her and tried to reconcile the marriage. If you made moves to reconcile the marriage after your spouse’s infidelity, they may be able to raise this defense, blocking your fault-based divorce.
Instead, using a no-fault divorce may be simpler. For a divorce based on insupportability, you can point to your differences and the rift between you and your spouse instead of the adultery. Similarly, if you and your spouse separate and live apart for 3 years, you can have a no-fault divorce based on living apart, with no need to prove any wrongdoing.
With a no-fault divorce, much of the divorce process may be simpler. If your spouse is willing to agree to a divorce based on insupportability or agrees to separation for 3 years, you may be able to get a divorce without proving adultery. Talk to an attorney about whether a fault or no-fault divorce is best in your case.
Dallas Divorce Attorney for Adultery Cases
If your spouse cheated on you, you may be entitled to a divorce. Even if you can’t prove the adultery, you may still be able to file a no-fault divorce and end the marriage. For a free consultation on your divorce case, contact the Dallas family lawyers or Arlington divorce attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.